peanut,treenut and fish allergy

Gina - posted on 01/02/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My son Cooper has a severe airborn anaphylaxis allergy to peanuts. He also is allergic to all treenuts and fish. Cooper will be starting school in September and I'm having anxiety issues. How will I be able to put my mind at ease? any suggestions?

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Kirsty - posted on 01/18/2009

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I am anxious too Gina !! My daughter starts school in 4 weeks and the school says they CAN'T go nut free and i'm wondering whether i will have to change her schools ! for this year her class is seperated from the rest of the school but next year she will be in with everyone else !

I have found the parents in her class have been supportive but i will still be staying with her as long as i need to to make sure the teachers know what they are doing with her, as i'm really the only one who knows when to panic and what is normal for her !!



Stressful times !

Tiffanny - posted on 01/17/2009

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I understand completely!!! It is very frustrating. I have been dealing with this for 11 years - my son is now a Junior in High School. I feel that your best approach is to be pro-active and vocal about it. Every year, I visit the school prior to opening day in August and hand out letters to the teachers, principals, office staff, and anyone else who might need to know. I let my letter and information be scary (but real). I want them to understand how serious this can be. I also open up the line of communication to them. If you would like copies of my letters, please contact me; I would post them, but this is getting long. My email address is: tiffanny68@gmail.com (that is Tiffanny with 2 f's and 2 n's).

I never could get the peanut butter sandwiches to stop in the cafeteria, but was able to get him his own Peanut-Free Table to sit at, and he can invite friend's (whose lunch he checks and approves) to eat with him.

Good luck!!!

Katrina - posted on 01/06/2009

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I can assure you that as a mom, your worry will never ease up, but you will become more comfortable navigating life with food allergies and so will your son...all in time. I say this from experience because I personally have eosinophilic esophagitis and multiple food allergies, my 23 year old brother is highly allergic to more than a dozen foods and my 2 1/2 yr old daughter was diagnosed with peanut, tree nut, egg, beef and fish/shellfish/mollusk allergies just after her first birthday. (Yes, cooking family dinners that are safe for everyone is quite a challenge!)



Maybe our experience will give you some ideas for dealing with allergies in a preschooler. This was new to us because my brother wasn’t diagnosed until kindergarten and I was too young to remember my own experiences at that age.



We had a rocky start with Libby's day care arrangements at first. We actually left a family daycare because we didn't feel comfortable….and we visited about 15 preschools before settling on one. A few things really set this school apart. The staff was well informed of food allergy “do’s and don’ts”, cross contamination and identifying signs of a reaction. They also have a staff member who is a nursing assistant, which was a plus. It’s a peanut free facility and has a cook who prepares all meals and snacks. They follow a standard monthly menu, so I review the menu with the cook at the start of each semester. We mark out the items Libby can't eat and post a copy in her classroom, the school kitchen and at the director's desk along with Libby’s action plan in case of a reaction.



When Libby can’t eat something on the menu we provide substitute foods that are as similar to what the other kids will be served as possible. For example, pancakes or waffles are on the menu each week, so I make a batch at home with applesauce or yogurt instead of eggs and send them to school frozen. I also keep a stash of cupcakes in the freezer at school and home in case of unannounced birthday or holiday parties. This gives me peace of mind knowing that she is safe without putting her in a situation where she’s left out of special occasions.



We also created an epi-pen training kit to educate her teachers -- it's a brown lunch bag with a demo epi-pen, instructions and an orange to test on. We use a similar idea at home for babysitters too. The babysitter kit also includes a list of Libby’s allergies, instructions & phone numbers in case of a reaction and a list of her favorite “safe” foods.



My daughter has had a successful experience in her preschool for the past year, and with a little time and creativity I’m sure Cooper will too. Good luck to both of you.

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My son also has a peanut, tree nut and fish allergy. I have approached this as "our responsibilty" issue and it has really helped us. The world is not nut free or fish free so the more you enable your child to be responsible the better. Nick is now 10 years old and I allow him to sit anywhere in the school cafeteria... ever since he was 4 years old we have been teaching him to be aware and vigilant of anything he eats and where he eats. Do not create a "hysteria" around him/her but empower them to be aware and conscious at all times. Talk to your school... talk to the teachers... teach them that this is a very dangerous yet controllable issue. Be calm, realistic and realize that not everyone is going to be resonable when it comes to allergies. My inlaws were not even aware of the dangers until a close friend passed away after being stung by a bee and did not have an epi-pen. #1 EMPOWER YOUR CHILD.. EACH AND EVERY DAY. Re-emphsize how important it is that they know what they can and can't eat... Do not foster HYSTERIA. Things are changing... daily. more and more kids are having allergies... it takes change.. Good luck! Be Safe!

Jenifer - posted on 01/03/2009

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I have the same issue....my daughter is 10 and in 5th grade, and it does not get any easier!! And I have a 18 mo old son that has more severe allergies than she does! Im already nervous about sending him to school! I have never had any complains with the school system until this year, we have had some major issues with one of her teachers who wanted the kids to bring peanuts to school for a science experiement!! I was not too happy!! And let them know, while trying not to be the crazy mom!! lol.



This is what I did. I had a meeting with the teachers, cooks, nurse, principal ect.Let them know how you feel, and how serious it is! If you take it serious they most likely will too! Find out if there is any other sudents that have food allergies ( it helps to talk to other parents) Explain to them what to look for if he was to have an allergic reaction,(my daughter has benadryl and and Epi-Pen, they need to know when to use which one) and ask them what is there action plan, make sure everyone know how to use an epi-pen and they all know where it is located!! We have one with the office staff, plus my daughter is old enough where she can carry one in her backpack, just in case something happens on the bus, or at practice! Plus they sent out a letter about peanut allergies and how dangerous they were, and asking that nobody brings anything containing nuts to schoool! But the school is not "nut" free, and that bothers me, they dont want the kids to bring nuts, but they will serve peanut butter sandwiches in the lunch room! (I think that is crazy, so Im still working on that) I also purchaced a bunch of information from FANN (The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxes Network, www.foodallergy.org) She is going to show a DVD, and talk to all the students about how serious food allergies are during Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 10-16) with the help of there Be a PAL Program (protect a life from food allergies) which teaches 5 simple steps to keep kids safe! I am pasionate about this issue, I will continue to do what I can to keep my kids safe, hope this helps! Good luck!

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